5 years, 6 months ago
In what may be the best line … ever … on gun control, Rick Perry weighs in on his position to a crowd in South Carolina:
Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry on Monday turned a South Carolina forum question into a quip, on an issue where no Texas politician dare be caught on the “wrong side.”
“Honestly, the next question is so easy that I don’t even want to ask it: Are you for gun control?” asked Rep. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.
“I am actually for gun control: Use both hands,” Perry shot back. He put on a wide old-boy grin and gave thumbs-up to his listeners.
In his book Fed Up, Perry describes himself as “the kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights, loaded with hollow point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his daughter’s dog.”
By way of full disclosure, I have been supportive of Perry (if only vocally), although I think that his positions on illegal immigration and border control are deplorable. But this one line will stick with his campaign until the end, and it’s similar to a tactic that I recommended he pursue in South Carolina. I advised that if Romney temporarily surges when he begins campaigning in S.C., all Governor Perry has to do is show up at the shooting range in Pickens County, S.C., where I often shoot, carry along some reporters with him, and then inform his fellow shooters that Governor Romney signed an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts (and would do so again).
Speaking of Romney and his assault weapons ban, Yvonne Abraham with The Boston Globe defends his position.
Now, I’ve been critical of Romney at times. But he looks better every time Perry says something dense, which is often (Evolution is just one theory! Global warming is a hoax by greedy scientists!).
Romney is a Second Amendment guy, but as governor, he wasn’t an absolutist. In 2004, he signed into law a permanent ban on assault weapons in Massachusetts. Everybody seemed pretty happy with it at the time, even National Rifle Association types, who extracted some concessions in return for the ban on AK-47s, Uzis, and other exotics.
Since then, the national electorate has lurched to the right, forcing Romney into inelegant contortions to explain even positions considered firmly Republican a few years ago. Shortly after Romney signed the bill, Congress, most of which is owned by – or terrified of – the gun lobby, allowed the federal assault weapons ban to expire. That’s why Jared Loughner was able to so easily obtain (sic) the semiautomatic weapon he used to kill six people and injure a gun rights-supporting congresswoman in Arizona earlier this year.
Poor analysis, this is. Ms. Abraham makes several mistakes, one of which is thinking that gun owners are a monolithic group represented by the NRA. Many of us believe that the NRA made mistakes in the past when they didn’t oppose government intrusions into second amendment rights. Furthermore, the background may very well have been that the bill was going to pass anyway, so the NRA bargained for inclusion of relaxation of some existing laws.
Either way, Romney isn’t a second amendment man if he signed into law a so-called “assault weapons” ban. Finally, Loughner didn’t purchase an “assault weapon.” He had a hand gun. It had a high capacity magazine, and Ms. Abraham assumes (because she apparently knows nothing about firearms) that Loughner wouldn’t have been able to master rapid magazine changeout similar to the way it’s done at IDPA competitions. She also assumes that Loughner wouldn’t have been able to fabricate a high capacity magazine in his garage. After all, it’s only a parallelepiped, made of aluminum, a spring and follower. This isn’t rocket science. But don’t tell the progressives that making more laws won’t affect law abiding citizens. It gets in the way of their world view.
Speaking of that, Zach Brooke writing for The UWM Post is more than willing to step in the way of constitutional rights in a commentary entitled Happiness is No Guns.
Now that concealed carry has been approved for all University of Wisconsin system campuses, each college must decide whether to ban guns, tasers, billy clubs and various types of dangerous knives from campus buildings. It is our belief that UW-Milwaukee should follow UW-Madison’s lead and prohibit weapons from all campus buildings, including all residence halls and Engelmann Field …
We advocate the prohibition of weapons not out of a desire to curb second amendment rights. As an independent press, we have a healthy respect for all freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights and consider each amendment as sacrosanct as the first, which all newspapers claim as birthright.
But we believe freedoms must be balanced against their potential for significant harm. No right is absolute, but rather is subject to limitations based on the probable consequences of abuse. If the Post abuses its first amendment privileges, we print a retraction. If an individual discharges their weapon into a crowd, several lives are irreparably damaged.
Strange apology, appearing out of nowhere. ” … not out of a desire to curb second amendment rights … but we believe freedoms must be balanced against their potential for significant harm.” In other words, Mr. Brooke doesn’t want to intrude into second amendment rights, but that’s exactly what he advocates, and not only that, he justifies it based on some vague variant of utilitarianism.
Forget for a moment whether gun control actually accomplishes its intention. There is plenty of evidence that it does not. The more important point is that like most statists, Mr. Brooke sees the government in the role of granting and legitimizing rights. If that is so, then it’s a short step to governmental stipulations on the extent of their exercise.
But if our rights are granted by God rather than the state, then it is immoral for the state to sanction their removal or impede their free exercise. As for Mr. Brooke and Ms. Abraham, they are worrying over things that they have no legitimate right to control. My right to self defense and protection of my family is incorrigible.
UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention to this article.